November 1, 2019 at 2:01 am #320797
Thank you so much, I do belief this is the right approach… now, the thing I am struggling with most is finding the right moment. He has been acting very sweet, took me out for dinner, doing some things around the house…I can see he is trying. But sadly, I feel I have fallen out of love and no matter what he does, it is now too late, something inside me has already moved on.
How do I choose the right moment? How long can I wait? I feel the longer I wait the more chance I change my mind and I don’t want to… It also feels like I am leading him on by acting okay when so many things are going through my mind. I have distanced myself emotionally to be able to go through with it, because if I start feeling too much, I know I won’t manage.
I am planning in a lot of things in my schedule to be away from home a lot, this maybe shows him I am pulling away and he will be able to see it coming when I ask if we can have a talk? Is this a bad approach? Do I wait until I know he has some days off so he can arrange things? I am sorry to bother you so much with this!!November 1, 2019 at 9:06 am #320849
I re-read all your posts this morning. This is how I see your situation:
It has been and will be tough for you to break up with him because
1. You live with him, sharing a place, furniture and whatnot.
2. You are emotionally attached to him: “sometimes all I want is to be alone and other moments I just want to lie in his arms on the couch.. I love my boyfriend.. I am terrified of not having him in my life, he is such a big part of it”, and as you try to break up with him, you are likely to again want to lie in his arms on the couch.
3. You believe that he loves you and will be hurt once you break up with him: “I cannot seem to break up with him tho, he is so sweet and loves me…he is so sweet and loves me.. mostly I feel like a horrible person for hurting him”
4. You have a history of being “a total people pleaser and have a tough time standing my ground… I keep going through a cycle of indecision… In the past whenever I have prepared arguments he seems to always have an answer to counter them. This confuses me and makes me feel I have not been trying hard enough to fix things”. History tends to repeat.
–these are the four items that make breaking up with him difficult on your part.
The following is what makes it difficult to break up with him on his part:
— “he is just being himself”, which means him being selfish and self serving. He told you that he “is how he is and that is never going to change”. Whatever you want to do that he doesn’t want to do, he will not do (“take walks, eat together, have friends in common, have more sex…”).
In his mind and heart a good relationship is one where he gets to do only that which “comes natural to him”, where you don’t get to do what you want, where what you value doesn’t matter to him (“any values of mine.. have largely been rejected”), where every time you assert yourself, you give up your assertion (“we fight, make up and forget about it”).
If you try once again to break up with him, he expects business as usual: “we fight, make up and forget about it”.
You wrote earlier that you discussed breaking up with him before “and he is very sad, but because he loves me he is ready to let me go if that is what I need“- I would like to think that he meant that but I doubt it. I doubt it because his brand of love is not congruent with him considering what I italicized. His love is nothing about what you need and all about what he needs.
-Except that he does know that every time you assert yourself with him, your need to “lie in his arms on the couch” takes over and what is next is the “make up and forget about it” routine.
“By me agreeing so often to giving up things I find important in a relationship, I have given him the impression that he has a lot of control to make the decisions”- well, he likes his control. Being in control of you and the relationship is the part that “isn’t broken” in the relationship, for him. (He doesn’t find it necessary to “fix something that isn’t broken”).
Let me know your thoughts and we’ll continue. I have more thoughts. A question: if you break up with him, who moves out, and what does it take to practically separate?
<div></div>November 2, 2019 at 1:05 am #320919
Thanks for putting that all in order, it is very useful for me to have such an overview. Breaking up will indeed be hard no matter what, that is not going to change.
I have noticed that when I am not at home (work, family, out with friends…) I do not miss him at all and I am 100% sure of doing this – I feel like I have mentally already checked out and am even making some plans for the coming months (and I must admit, these past days I have told some people that I am breaking up, somehow it felt that saying it out loud officially might make it easier). When I get home I feel a little guilty for being soso sure and then coming home acting like all is okay, of course seeing him also stirs up some feelings and fear of separation and that is where I think the attachment plays a big role.
Regarding your question…that would have to be discussed, but I think maybe the first weeks I will be staying at friends while he tries to find a new place and when he has found one I will come back to the house and deal with the practicalities of furniture etc. I have more income so it would be easier for me to keep living in the house for a little while longer to figure things out.
November 2, 2019 at 7:00 am #320929MiParticipant
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by Sam.
I feel exactly how you feel. It is like you put in words what I couldn’t for so long. I guess I am one step further along, I broke up with my ex partner in the beginning of the year, yet this relationship and the breakup is still something I think about a lot. The break up was very painful for both of us. I have been with my ex for 6 years, am a people pleaser too and I feel shame and resentment of not having made my values and wishes clearer to him. But I now know that I have told him things I wanted to change in the relationship but he was to stubborn to even consider them. Only when I said I wanted to break up because I was not happy he started to think about things.
Before the breakup I fell into depression due to a lot of reasons but I think a contributing factor was that I felt not important and loved enough by him to even consider changing his ways. Or doing it very slowly after years of me repeatedly asking for it (Which I took as a sign to keep going and keep trying to be with him). I again and again neglegted my own needs and wants and put his over mine. As you said this is something I now know I tend to do and which stems from childhood learnings which I am now working on to change.
I don’t want to sugar coat it, it has been hard since the break up. I am 34 now and I really wanted to start a family, I feel like time is running away. However, having kids with this man who was not ready to compromise and who has a different understanding when it comes to what it means to love somebody…I wouldn’t want to have married him or had kids with him. Things certainly do not get easier when you care for children.
So, I can only say, you will find somebody else. You have already decided to break up. There is never a good time for this, don’t wait for it. When you do it, take the breakup one step at a time. My ex did not understand why I wanted this, why I didn’t want to try again. For him everything was fine. I felt like I was just an unhappy person, blamed myself for not feeling it was enough and got worn down by his arguing why we are meant to be together. For when this happens, leave the situation, remind yourself why you are doing this. Write it down if you have not already done so and re-read it. You will not regret it! Even if it feels like the pain is unbearable at times. But it gets better and soon enough you will feel like you can make a fresh start. And the good thing is: you learn from this experience. You now know what is important to you in a relationship and can look out for it, and do it better next time.November 2, 2019 at 7:02 am #320943
I thought it would be a good idea, that you will not continue to live with him after letting him know that you are breaking up with him- that would be a bad idea, given you are attached to him and he is used to manipulate you successfully to stay. Once the breakup is announced, the two of you need to live separately immediately, same day. I suggest you arrange for a place to stay for yourself ahead of time so that when you break up with him you are ready to leave.
Prepare for the possibility that he will not be moving out from the place you now share (if he doesn’t have to, legally). I think he will very much resist the practical inconveniences that breaking up will cause him: having to find his own place, packing, moving, having to pay more money for rent elsewhere, and so forth. I imagine these inconveniences will fuel his efforts to manipulate you into reversing your decision (act sweet, promote your guilt feeling and self doubts etc.)
anitaNovember 3, 2019 at 3:19 am #321063
Hi Mi and anita,
Thank you so much for your reassuring words, I can imagine it is still very difficult at times, but yes, in the long term the decision taken is what was best for you. I will write down my reasons so that I can remember at the times when I feel down.
I am ready to deal with the hard times ahead once I have broken up. I have decided to make my move upcoming week…I see him suffering as he can see I have distanced myself a lot and there is no beauty at all in letting this go on longer like this. I don’t think I will ever feel 100% ready so I just have to rip of the bandage.
Thank you anita for all your support. I have been reading the forum for quite a while now and I really admire how you are able to help people navigate through their problems. I will write again once I have made my move.
November 3, 2019 at 6:48 am #321079
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by Sam.
You are welcome and thank you for your kind words.
“I see him suffering”- see yourself too, not just him: you too are suffering! Looking forward to read from you again, anytime.
anitaNovember 5, 2019 at 12:24 am #321439
Yesterday my boyfriend and I decided we were going to talk after work. I want to let you know how it went.
I prepared very well for the conversation and it actually was very fast as this time he was also prepared mentally – I explained how I feel, why I think that many of the “issues” we have is something we cannot solve 1,2,3 but we have to respect that we are different. He agreed that seeing many of these things we cannot change, the only way is to end the relationship, so that was our conclusion. After this conversation he was very serious and quiet, would not say much except that it is a bummer and there is not much more to say. But later on we were both crying, hugging…it was very sad.
I fought so hard with myself not to say “well maybe we can try this or that?” Because I knew it was just the moment and later I would maybe regret it. We cried for hours, then we got hungry and warmed up some food and calmed down. We started talking in more depth and decided that yeah, there are things we could definitely work on like eating at the dinner table etc. but others, like me just naturally having a much higher sex drive or wanting to build a community of people around us, was impossible for him. And I think those are the things we have to focus on…
We both stayed at the house to sleep so we did not separate definitely, but we haven’t decided to stay together either. I think this was a very good step, but I do think we need to take the next one very soon so that we do not get used to the situation. We cried what we needed to cry together, told each other what we needed to, and now we have to make the move. I do have to say I kept thinking about all the nice things in the relationship while we were crying, doubting whether this was the right thing… but I know that was just the moment, and also seeing him cry was soso hard… I feel quite weak for not having been able to go through with it completely.November 5, 2019 at 6:08 am #321467
Let’s see what it is that happened yesterday: you prepared a conversation, explaining to him how you feel, and why your issues with him cannot be resolved. He agreed with you that “the only way is to end the relationship”, the two of you concluded that that ending the relationship is the thing to do (“that was our conclusion”).
After that conversation, “he was very serious and quiet”, said “it is a bummer and there is not much more to say”. Next, he (and you) cried and hugged for hours until he got hungry and ate. Following that he told you that indeed what you needed from him was impossible for him to give you. After that he went to bed with you.
You wrote about this happening is: “I think this was a very good step”- I would have agreed if I didn’t read your previous posts. What happened yesterday was no step at all in any new direction, it was the previous “cycle of indecision” in practice, business as usual.
You started your thread with “I keep going through a cycle of indecision and complaining about him, while he is just being himself. I have discussed this all with him and he is very sad”- no difference from what happened most recently. “but because he loves me he is ready to let me go”- same as yesterday, he was willing to end the relationship, so he told you.
Here is the cycle of indecision: “We are find, stable.. then I start feeling restless. I.. explain.. he makes clear it is not something he finds necessary.. we fight, make up and forget about it…we are again stable for a couple of months until I again start feeling like something is missing for me”- what happened yesterday was the same cycle, ending last night with the “make up” part.
You wrote before: “I feel like a horrible person for hurting him… I see him suffering”, and most recently you wrote: “seeing him cry was so so hard”.
My conclusion: you wrote early on that he is so sweet and loving to you. I say: as long as the cycle of indecision is business as usual (with minor variables, he may argue one time, and not the next), he is sweet and loving. If you break the cycle, he may not be so sweet and loving. You can try it for yourself.
The moment he understands that his crying is not getting him anywhere because his stuff is outside your home and the lock is changed (it being game-over, practically)- how will he behave?
You may be surprised to see that all his sweetness, love and tears completely gone. You’ll never know unless you try something different from the same old, same old cycle of indecision.
November 5, 2019 at 6:30 am #321471
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by anita.
You are right…I think the only reason it felt like a next step is because we finally agreed we need to break up and we cried so much (I had never seen him cry before). But because after that we didn’t go on to making any practical decisions regarding the break, we left things very open ended and therefore exactly where they were.
I do not know how he will be once we do not live together anymore…I very much doubt that we can stay in touch especially at the beginning…like in any break up that only makes things harder.
He is strong and will manage without me, last night I told him that I worry about him and he said I really shouldn’t, that he will be okay after a while, but he is just very sad this did not work out for the long term.
I have been thinking all day about what to do next – last night brought out a lot of feelings in me: doubt about this decision, feelings of love…but I guess I am confusing this with a huge fear of separation.
I guess it is best if tonight we discuss what is next – I think he will be hoping I changed my mind and we stay together, maybe implement some changes…but looking back at my posts I think I have to be very strong and choose to go.November 5, 2019 at 6:43 am #321473
I wanted to ask you about another thing…
Last night when we started talking, I asked him if he has thought about what we had discussed 2 weeks ago when I opened up about everything. He said he had not been thinking about it, because when he did, he only came to the conclusion that this cannot work, so he would rather not think about it at all. I did not really know how to react to it, as I have been thinking about it 24/7 since…
Is that just a coping mechanism on his side?November 5, 2019 at 6:57 am #321477
It was the first time you saw him cry. I suppose that before he displayed other expressions of sadness and suffering (“he is very sad… I see him suffering”). Maybe it was his facial expressions, corners of the mouth turned downward, maybe. Each two cycles of indecisions are not identical, of course, there are always some differences in people’s behaviors, but patterns and cycles are quite consistent regardless of minor variables.
Here is my point: for how many months and years did he know that it will please you if he sat at the dinning table with you once in a while? And he never bothered, not yet, because he said, he will not enjoy himself sitting at the dining table. When one person loves another, the loving person is motivated to please the supposed loved one. It brings the loving person pleasure to see his loved one pleased. At least once in a while. So why wasn’t he motivated to see you pleased, to sit with you at the dinning table?
Maybe what motivates him is comfort: it feels more comfortable to sit on the sofa and eat because he can watch TV that way and the sofa is soft and comfy. If indeed comfort is his primary motivation, then he will be very upset when you take his comfort away by seeing to it that he leaves his comfort, that is, your place, having to look for another, having less time to play computer games and watch TV because he may have to work more hours to pay rent.
Facing this great discomfort, he is likely to be motivated to make himself somewhat uncomfortable so to avoid the greater discomfort of moving out. He has already done that before, page 1: “He has been acting very sweet, took me out for dinner, doing things around the house”. Next, he may sit with you at the dining table, and if he fears losing his major comfort even more.. he might try to have more sex with you.
Problem is, what is his motivation? Seems to me that his motivation is his comfort, not a love for you.
anitaNovember 5, 2019 at 7:02 am #321479
Regarding your recent post (double posting): “I asked him if he has thought about what we had discussed 2 weeks ago when I opened up about everything. He said he had not been thinking about it, because when he did, he only came to the conclusion that this cannot work, so he would rather not think about it at all… I have been thinking about it 24/7 since… Is that just a coping mechanism on his side?”-
-yes, coping with discomfort, or distress. If something is distressing and he doesn’t have to think about it, he won’t. Again, what is it that motivated him primarily? His comfort. Not love for you, not thinking about what matters to you.
anitaNovember 5, 2019 at 11:07 am #321553
I am definitely having trouble distinguishing, or separating, love from comfort/attachment. Both on his and my side. This is part of what is making it so difficult.
The more I think the more I also believe it is best to have our last conversation regarding the relationship outside of the house, maybe at a cafe…being surrounded by all our things makes it so much more painful. Then I can go somewhere else for the night and I do not have to face his pain, as this is what makes it all so difficult for me. I will go straight to a friend who can help me and remind me of my reasons. I will let him know that this is the plan, then he can also prepare.November 5, 2019 at 11:18 am #321557
I think that you are distressed and can’t think very clearly because of that distress. This long-term distress involved in living with him is keeping a state of fog in your brain which interferes with your ability to see the situation as-it-is.
I think that a good plan is what I believed you suggested earlier- to temporarily move out of your place, stay with a friend, and notify him that he has an X number of days to move out. Maybe make it a legal eviction process.
Or have him leave immediately, if it is a legal option for you.